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Cannon, Poppy (2 Aug. 1905–1 April 1975), cookbook author, journalist, and advertising executive, was born Lillian Gruskin in Cape Town, South Africa, to Robert and Henrietta Gruskin, Jewish immigrants from Lithuania. (Henrietta’s maiden name is unknown.) The family moved to the United States in ...

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Claiborne, Craig (04 September 1920–22 January 2000), food journalist and restaurant critic, was born in Sunflower, Mississippi, the son of Lewis Edmond Claiborne, a cotton grower and local bank officer, and Mary Kathleen Craig Claiborne. His father lost his lands and fortune shortly after Craig's birth and never again held gainful employment. His mother moved the family to the larger town of Indianola and opened a boarding house. She became famous for her high-quality meals, prepared by black cooks using her recipes. Craig grew up savoring outstanding southern cooking. After graduating from Indianola High School, he attended Mississippi State College before moving to the University of Missouri, where he received a B.A. in journalism in 1942....

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Root, Waverley (15 April 1903–31 October 1982), writer and journalist, was born Waverley Lewis Root in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Francis Solomon Root and Florence Mae Lewis. When Root was seven years old, his family moved to Fall River, Massachusetts, where he attended the public schools. In 1920 he enrolled in Tufts University, where he worked as a campus reporter for Boston newspapers and the Associated Press, wrote for the student paper, and began a major in English. Dissatisfied with the English department, Root changed his major to psychology and talked the college administration into allowing him to teach his own course in American literature. In 1923 he left Tufts without a degree and moved to New York City. For the next few years he wrote theater and music criticism and fiction for a number of publications and a few book reviews for the ...

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Vanderbilt, Amy (22 July 1908–22 December 1974), journalist, was born in Staten Island, New York, the daughter of Joseph Mortimer Vanderbilt, an insurance broker, and Mary Estelle Brooks. At the age of sixteen, while still a student at Curtis High School, she became the society writer for the Staten Island ...